frequently asked questions


Are the retreats or on-line sessions open to all Addictions?

Yes.  While addictions have different aspects, once you get under the mechanics of the addiction, the issues and feelings are often very similar.

Is the format of the retreat similar to the big book?

The objective of the retreat is to get the participant as far along with the 4th step as possible.  Because a traditional 4th step is done over a longer period of time, I have the participants do exercises to help them identify issues quickly, so they can be inventoried.  Due to the compressed time frame of the retreat the process is a bit different than laid out in the big book, but the end result is very similar.

Will I be sharing my inventory, or difficult things?

The 4th step is an individual process.  This retreat allows the participant to go though it with others.  While there are some sharing sessions to help with the feelings that the participants are going through, no one is forced to share anything they do not want to share.  Each participant is asked and agrees to keep anything they happen hear confidential.

Will I complete the entire step?

Most likely not.  While some participants have completed it, most are not fully complete.  The participants have gone through a lot very quickly.  That said, the participant is set up where they are probably 90% to 95% done with each section, and virtually all feel they can easily finish any details needed.  Usually the incomplete items are cross referencing details on how fear effects other issues on some of the other lists, or things of that nature.

Can I do my 5th?

As of yet I have not set something like this up.  I feel it is important that folks share their inventory with their sponsor or spiritual advisor.  It is important for folks to share with someone that knows them better.

Do people come back?

Yes, 2 so far.  I have had 2 people repeat the retreat as a few years went by and they felt they were in a different place and felt that new issues were more clear to them now.  The retreat has run at Easton Mountain in NY for a few years and we are considering having folks come back for just fellowship, and help the new cohort with their inventories.

Do people enjoy the retreat?

Enjoy….  I do not know if enjoy is the correct word.  Everyone has said it was immensely worthwhile and rewarding.  Very glad they did it.  Think Rewarding and worthwhile.

Can I do this my self?

Of course you can.

However, what I see are folks who say they will do it, but end up washing the windows and cleaning the oven rather than look at themselves.  The point here is to set aside the time, the place and get the work done.

What is the money about?

The content and leadership of this program are provided in the spirit of 12-Step Service. The facilitator(s) is/are not paid for this program nor do they receive any compensation for their time. The facilitators may be reimbursed all, or in part, for their out of pocket costs for the materials and transportation to the retreat center.  The fees charged by the retreat center are for the housing and meals.

I/We are donating our time experience, strength and hope as part of our recovery.

Do you have any degrees or special Education?

No.  I am just a person in recovery for many 24 hours in a row that is willing to share their experience, strength and hope.

I do have a degree in Construction Management, that and a few bucks gets me on the subway to another meeting.

Why do you do this?

I am just a person in recovery for many 24 hours in a row that is willing to share their experience, strength and hope.  I do it to re-pay what was freely given to me. 

Many people reached out when I was new, confused and did not really even know what was wrong.

This seems like the next right thing to do for others.  The feedback has been to keep doing it.

I have helped many people along the way, and folks in my life have strongly suggested, to the point where I can’t ignore them anymore, to expand where and when I do this work.

Please e-mail any other questions

I tried to think of the questions I have been asked over the years.  Feel free to e-mail questions to